Rootstrap Blog

Essential Applications: Discussing The App Development Process With The Creators Of Glia

As Los Angeles mobile app developers we know that applications aren’t all fun and games.  While many mobile apps are designed to simply entertain (which isn’t exactly a bad thing), some apps strive to make a difference.  Glia is one of those apps.  It levels the playing field between consumers and businesses by giving consumers detailed information about the values held by nearby businesses.  The consumer is empowered to make purchases that are aligned with their own personal values.  Having worked closely with the innovative minds behind Glia, we wanted to get their thoughts on the creative partnership that helped bring Glia to life.


Most entrepreneurs have that ‘ah-ha’ moment, that moment where they realize there is a hole in the marketplace, and they have an idea for a product that could fill it.  CEO Barry Klein tells a great story about that very moment.

“It was an unusually cold morning in San Diego, those are my favorites.  The kind of day that is just perfect for putting on your favorite hoodie sweatshirt (emblazoned with the Brandeis logo of course), worn in jeans and sneakers and going to the beach.

I just knew something big was in the offing.  I thought it might be my wife telling me good news on a project she had been working on.  Well, that good news didn’t materialize, but I left the beach with my mind open to new possibilities.

Later that evening I found myself trying to come up with ideas to take her mind off things. We took the path of least resistance – dinner out.  After the usual rounds of trying to deflect the decision to my wife and vice versa, we checked out some options on YELP and various blogs showcasing cool new spots.  Sitting there, reading about upscale mac & cheese and craft beer, it dawned on me how little we knew about any of the places where we were about to spend what precious money we had.

It got me thinking… wouldn’t it be great if people could go somewhere that we knew shared OUR values?  Or, how amazing would it be to have a warning alert on my cell telling me to avoid a place that would use the profits generated from my purchase to support something I abhor?

As you can imagine, it became a more interesting and expensive dinner as I churned on this and realized “I’ve got this idea…okay, now what?”

gliaBorn from that “ah-ha” moment was Glia.  Glia would have a different approach to the usual user experience.  As we mentioned before there’s often a separation between entertainment and informative apps.  Glia would integrate both.  This integration was incredibly important to the creators of Glia.  Co-founder and Head of Product, Tahlia Sutton, explains.  “We view Glia as the ultimate resource to guide spending towards your values.  The information users provide is very personal, therefore creating an experience that motivates and engages the user in a fun way is essential.  If it’s not simple, then users won’t want to give you information to build a profile.  We tried to take it to the next level by making it fun, too.  The more information you provide us the more valuable Glia can be to you.”

So Glia was born of an innovative idea, approached with an emphasis on user engagement, but the marketplace is still saturated with apps.  It can be hard to cut through the clutter to find an app worth your time like Glia.  The confidence Glia’s creators had in the product is one of the reasons we were so excited to partner with them.  According to Tahlia, “Glia isn’t just an app – it is a data management platform that we will enable a whole world of new and interesting applications to help inform and guide user spending.  Our desire is for Glia to be the lens in which users will see the world and make spending decisions.”


And addressing that partnership, Neon Roots’ product development service Rootstrap is what helped bring Glia to life.  For the creators it was “definitely a valuable experience.”  We have the experience in mobile app development to vet an idea and plot a course to its successful creation.  “Through Rootstrap, we were able to drill into the core experience that we wanted to place in front of users for validation.  NR challenged and helped focus the very experience we have today.  Our initial vision is still strong today however with NR’s help it is now laser sharp,” Tahlia says.

Having worked with Neon Roots and gone through the Rootstrap process, Glia is ready to help users make every consumer choice a powerful statement.  It’s an app that matters.  You can learn more about the app at Glia’s website or you can download it at the iTunes store and let it start helping you make informed decisions today.

Maybe you’re an entrepreneur looking to develop your own app.  Maybe you’ve got that next great idea.  So we’ll leave you with Tahlia’s takeaway from her own experience, and if you have an app idea and want to see it come to life, you can get started with NR and Rootstrap by contacting us anytime.

As a product owner and technologist for many years, it becomes harder and harder to accept the feedback of others.  I have seen many startup successes and failures and use that to fuel the inspiration and path for the products I build.  There is no manual to success.  There is only the willingness to be open and vulnerable with every idea and vision that you have.  If you are not willing to throw every idea whether good or bad on the table for others to comment, then success in innovation cannot be contemplated nevertheless inspired.”